Ending a relationship of any kind is very hard. Even if this is what you wanted. It still doesn’t mean that you want anyone to feel bad! In fact, you may have stayed longer than is healthy to avoid the inevitable pain and loneliness. A friend once said, “I can tell you over and over to leave the situation, but you don’t until you’re ready. One day, you’ll wake up and realize this isn’t what you want to feel like anymore. Then, you’ll be done.” Sound about right?
Overcoming the Trauma of A Breakup
When something leaves our lives, life inherently seeks to fill that void. So, we must work out the pain and work for the good. Now, there are plenty of ways to fill that void, both healthy and unhealthy. When I work with folx leaving an abusive or volatile situation, I want to be clear, you cope in any way you need to. As long as you are not hurting yourself or someone else, let yourself cope and heal from that trauma. Use any tools necessary. For the rest of us, or when that trauma is less acute, we may want some more evidence-based and productive ways to cope. We seek coping mechanisms that will maximize our ability to move forward in a healthy way. Luckily, there is a sort of formula for this.
What Comes Next?
When you are working through a breakup or divorce, you have some work to do. It’s a new and different situation for you. Your life is going through a major transition. So, you may need to spend some time reflecting and making decisions about what will be next. You may feel pressure to jump into something new. Or, you may feel like you missed your “one-shot” at love. Sorry Hamilton, but I believe that we get more opportunities for happiness in life, and love. What it does take, is careful observation, preparation, and cultivation.
Learn what is happening in life on an internal and external level. Learn to respond, not react, to the inevitable twists and turns of life.
Allow yourself to be ready for many different things that could come along. New people, new opportunities, new paths.
Keep your new changes working in life, day after day. Affirm these positive changes to encourage more of them to flourish. This formula can be used as many times as is needed during your healing journey to overcome trauma. Especially when life gets in the way.
Some things that could get in the way of healing from the trauma of a breakup are:
- Staying in contact with your ex
- Getting stuck in self-pity and shame
- Refusing to acknowledge the pain
- Rushing into a new relationship
While I will share a few things about these points, here’s a little secret. Everyone struggles with at least one of these! It’s normal. It’s understandable. That’s why individual relationship counseling is such an important option to consider! Overcoming trauma is not a linear path. But, it does have some clear places to stop along the way.
The path to healing trauma has three main destinations:
- Take care of yourself
- Work out the grief
- Deal with challenges
These “destinations” (yes, you will stop at each and stay awhile…you may even revisit them from time to time!) will help you keep the balance to get past the trauma of your breakup. Self-care is the starting point. Not only bubble baths and pedicures, but actually listening to what you and your body needs. In time, you are going to have to deal with how you feel.
Self-Care Through Independence
Establish yourself as an individual, with a unique identity. Not just a part of a “couple” identity. Remember: “An ex is an ex for a reason”. Staying in contact for no true purpose is unproductive and unhealthy. Especially at the beginning. This is key to taking care of yourself, moving through the grief, and moving on. One of the best ways to do this is to set clear, firm, boundaries. With your ex, and with yourself. Then, in time, with others! Boundaries are the key to all loving relationships. Find the joy in being single. Yes, you can enjoy it. Then, when you are ready, reengage the world of dating. Make use of this intentional, thoughtful time. It will help you understand what real love and healthy relationships look like. Draw a boundary…get your space. Then take it, and bask in it.
Begin Counseling for Women in Orange County, CA
Living with trauma after a major breakup can be difficult at times. But, having the right support can make all the difference. There are many benefits to seeking trauma therapy. Our caring therapists can offer aid from our Orange County, CA-based therapy practice. To start trauma therapy, please follow these simple steps:
- Schedule a free consultation
- Meet with a caring therapist
- Start listening to your body on a deeper level
Other Services Offered at Moxie Family Therapy
Counseling for women isn’t the only service offered at Moxie Family Therapy. Other services include counseling for young adults, teens, children, and couples. Our team also offers therapy for therapists, clinical supervision, art therapy, and play therapy. We are also happy to support the LGBTQ+ community. Contact us today and learn how we can help you reclaim your moxie!